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RheinWerk's 'Blackout Squad' Scandal
Date April 11, 2039
Author Steve Ruggles
Backer Lore Yes
Internal Name rheinwerk_blackout
Internal Series Rheinwerk (series), #1 

April 11th, 2039:

Rheinwerk Not Worried Following 'Blackout Squad' Scandal -

Personal Blog Post by: Steve Ruggles

From rags to unbelievable riches and fame, the story behind Germany's Rheinwerk Energy GmbH is well known across the globe. Once an enterprise whose purpose was taking care of hydroelectric dam and power plant needs across Germany, Rheinwerk began to expand during the early years of the Resource Wars. At first they bought up large parts of the European power grid after the whole thing was divided and sold to private investors. Next they set their eyes and wallets on various global oil fields as well as uranium and coal mines. And then finally they purchased the delivery companies required for the worldwide distribution of their newly acquired resources.

Many of the aforementioned purchases were made for not surprisingly very low prices as people were finally starting to understand that we couldn't live forever on our dwindling natural resources and soon enough they would either be gone or worth nothing at all. These people were the smart ones but that's not the say Rheinwerk was stupid. They were actually far from it, only they were thinking ahead to something their people were working on in secret. Something they knew would change the world and they had to be sure the necessary infrastructure was in place before telling everyone else about it. They had to be at the forefront.

You remember the sustainable fusion power breakthrough? You know the one... the one that quite possibly saved us all from self-extinction? Yeah, well ultimately that was Rheinwerk. They certainly didn't invent fusion power but they did invent the "sustainable" part, and that is how Fusion Power Plants came to be and is what made Rheinwerk Energy one of the biggest Corporations on the planet (next only to and partly owned by Global and Strommon Industries). All of this was of course topped by their incredibly well funded P.R. department with those grand advertisements depicting a new world in which everyone lived on pennies-for-power.

The Resource Wars were either going to kill or fundamentally change us. Thank God it turned out to be the latter except because of the Wars, Rheinwerk cheaply managed to take a firm grip on the world's energy market while we were too afraid of each other to even pay attention. They acquired everything they needed first and then hit us with the breakthrough right when we needed it most. Other than great timing, how do you think they got to that point so quickly and quietly? How do you suppose they managed to push out so much competition and keep so many dirty secrets under wraps? Every major Corporation have their black marks if you look hard enough but Rheinwerk was and still is, considering the lack of proof, squeaky clean in every way.

One man has decided to take a stand and answer how they've done it. He says that the driving force behind their initial rise to power back in the days of coal, gas, and oil are what were internally called "Blackout Squads." Ex-Kommando Spezialkrafte turned Rheinwerk employee John-Paul Ownby, a resident of Bremen, Germany, has recently come forward to speak out against what he has done under the employ of Rheinwerk in order to keep safe their dirtiest little secrets. Ownby claims that after twenty years of employment he and his fellow Blackout Squad members have been laid off and given extremely generous "bonus packages" for their silence. Ownby says he can't live with that.

It's no secret Corporations often rise to power by stepping on the little guys, or by lying here and there, maybe cheating once or twice. The normal obstacles of high stakes business, right? Well Ownby claims that Rheinwerk used these Blackout Squads of theirs to solve problems for them and they apparently did so with little regard for the law or even human life. Find an untapped oil field under a community that won't sell? Blackout Squad. Have a pipeline leakage that's poisoning a water supply and killing the locals? Blackout Squad. Did one of your employees go and get himself and ten other workers killed in an accident due to employer negligence? Blackout Squad. Is the competition encroaching on a prime site you've been working on acquiring for months? You get the idea.

But what happens when the focus of your entire Corporation switches from crude resources to clean, simple, cheap fusion power? When money is rolling in hand-over-fist faster than ever before and the number of "annual incidents" decreases to nearly zero? Well, you certainly don't need those Blackout Squads anymore.

So short of killing them, Rheinwerk thankfully chose forced retirement for their professional henchmen. But is there any proof of anything Ownby says? Of course not, not a thing, and that's because Ownby was the best at what he did. That's why this article and others like it will disappear into obscurity while Rheinwerk Energy continues to win your hearts and minds with ground breaking though apparently ill-gotten accomplishments.

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